After testing 40 string trimmers, Consumer Reports found the best corded and cordless models can trim around posts and edge along walks as well as some gas trimmers. But there were a few models that had fancy features and added power that did not result in better performance.
Until recently, battery-powered trimmers were strictly light duty. Black & Decker’s 24-volt NST1024, a CR Best Buy at $140, cut cleanly with one pass and performed adequately in taller growth.
Corded trimmers start with push-button ease and run as long as needed. Stihl’s FSE 60, $110, tops the plug-in category for overall performance. Close behind is Black & Decker’s GH1000, a CR Best Buy, which performs similarly for just $70.
Echo and Stihl are tops among gas trimmers for fast, neat trimming, and edging with the muscle to slice through 2-foot growth. The new Hitachi CG22EABSLP, $150, weighs less and did nearly as well in the tall stuff. Its heavier, 0.095-inch line also helped it trim all tall grass aggressively.
Whichever string trimmer consumers choose, wear goggles, long pants, and boots while using the tool.
Consumer Reports also recommends hearing protection with any trimmer that scored less than Good for noise.
The full report on mowers, tractors, and string trimmers appears in the May issue of Consumer Reports and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.